Initial thoughts on the Jacob Brown transfer
Jacob Brown joined Stoke City on a transfer yesterday from Barnsley. The 22 year-old right winger is the fifth signing of the summer window for Michael O’Neil joining James Chester, Morgan Fox, Steven Fletcher, and John Obi Mikel. Brown will join Stoke coming off a season where he finished with 4 goals and 9 assists across competitions.
For a good look at Brown’s background as a player check out Peter Smith’s article summing up the transfer and player background. Some key thoughts about the signing are discussed below:
It’s nice to see Stoke take a risk on a younger player. Prior to Brown, Stoke’s youngest signing was Morgan Fox (26) with the rest of their signings in the later stages of their careers. Seeing O’Neill target a young player with potential to add to the squad is refreshing. At the very least, Brown is a quality winger in the Championship at 22. He has room to grow, so the risk seems pretty low at this point even though we are still are waiting on the transfer details.
All reports on Brown seem to indicate his best position is right wing. That would put him in direct competition with Campbell and Ince for playing time. You have to think Campbell is one of the first names on the team sheet right now after his breakout season last year so this might be more of a concern for Ince, and perhaps the writing is on the wall for a move elsewhere. Also in the mix is Thibaud Verlinden who will be returning from injury and looking for playing time. Brown seems most comfortable at right wing, but has also played striker, right-mid, and also wingback so he will definitely bring versatility to Stoke who have been toying with formations and are still looking for ideal fits in different lineups.
O’Neill has made it clear that high energy players gain his preference. From reports on Brown, he seems to have a good motor and has zero compete issues. The same cannot be said of Tom Ince last season who seemed to turn things on/off from match to match.
In all assessments of Brown it was hard to miss that he finished 6th last season in assists in the Championship. Brown gives a different dimension on the right side and would just add to other high quality service players Stoke already have in James McClean, Tommy Smith, and Morgan Fox.